We were late jumping on the Sons of Anarchy bandwagon - Season 1 was a Christmas gift for my husband, well, right, from that first episode, we were hooked. It wasn't broadcast on Netflix Canada, so I bought the second season, then I had a brainwave and checked my local library, they had every season and by the time we finished season 6, the final and last, season 7 was out and available there too!
Some evenings we would watch three episodes, we talked about it the next day, I can honestly say, we have never watched a tv show and were so engrossed in it. It's a story of a biker club in California - tough men in a violent world - and it IS violent and gets more violent as the seasons go on. Every episode was gripping - so many situations with the guys and their relationships! We finished it over a week ago and we're still talking about it!!
It's not often CD's are bought in this house anymore, but had to have this collection! The music is excellent - old songs, newer songs, songs written specifically, for the show - the majority of them performed by The Forest Rangers. Katy Sagal, who starred as Peg Bundy in Married with Children plays the character of Gemma, she joins the band on a few songs, her voice is wonderful on Son of a Preacher Man.
We thought this show was something like The Sopranos, we loved that one but we thought this one was even better! I say "yay" to this show, I know there are a lot of people who would not care for it, but to each his own, isn't that right?
I never set out to do a blog post from something I make so I apologize for not a great picture, but I wanted to share this really tasty recipe with you, I had pinned it from Pinterest and tried it yesterday. It's delicious - don't be put off by the picture!! It's going to be my new salmon recipe - it might be yours too!!!
The original pin came from the blog I Love My Kids, I didn't make any changes to the recipe.
Maple Pecan Salmon
1/2 cup Maple Syrup - the real stuff, not Aunt Jemima
1/4 cup soy sauce
2-4 cloves, garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup chopped roasted pecans - I didn't roast them
In the baking dish, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, salt and pepper. Place salmon in the dish, skin side down. Coat with maple syrup mixture and then after 15 minutes flip over on the other side and coat with the pecans.
Cover the dish and marinate the salmon in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, bake salmon around 20 minutes. Do not overcook!!
It's funny how some recipes just catch your eye, I was browsing on Pinterest the other day and found Country Apple Fritter Bread, I made it right away, the picture is my loaf. It's really good, even better a day after. I'll definitely make it again and maybe add a little extra apple the next time. The pin originated on this blog Baking Chocola Tess - just click on that link and it will take you to the recipe. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed!!
Don't read any further if you don't eat meat because this post is about frying meat, in particular, pork chops. We never buy pork chops or steak in the winter, we only BBQ them in the summer. I used to cook pork chops in the oven, but didn't really care for that method so no more of that! I remember back when I first started cooking, the only way to make pork chops was Shake n Bake, that used to be a grocery staple!!!
I can't remember the last time I ever had pork in a frying pan, but I do remember them to be burnt to a crisp and dry as a bone, no wonder I wasn't anxious to cook them that way. But, since I discovered this method, I'll be buying pork chops again, they're the best, done this way!!
We've fried pork chops twice now and both times they were so flavorful and moist, we have to admit, we liked them better than the BBQ ones.
I left the chops on the counter for about half an hour, if your meat is too cold the outside will overcook while the inside comes to the right temperature, doing this will ensure a nice crust and a tender center. Wash the chops, dry with paper towel and then sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder, or whatever you prefer. Add about 1 tbsp of oil to your frying pan, get it good and hot, cook the chops for about 3 minutes or so at that temperature, then turn the heat down to medium, cook them for a further 3 minutes on each side. Another hint to use during cooking is to stand up your chops, use your tongs for that, the fat on the edge will be brown and crispy. When your thermometer reaches 145, they're done , don't cook them longer, they'll be dry! Wait for 10 minutes (if you can't wait, they'll still be good, we waited about 5 minutes the first time, the next time we didn't wait at all) before you cut into your meat, the juices will not be all over your plate or cutting board but contained in the meat and so delicious!!
This seems pretty basic, but it was just like a new wonderful recipe to us!! Do you fry pork chops?
It's the perfect time of year for soup, homemade soup, in particular. I mentioned before that I was trying to make more soups and freeze the leftovers, very seldom now do I ever buy a can of soup!! I've made this vegetable soup recipe a few times now and every time it hits the spot - it's easy to make and the great thing about it is you can use whatever vegetables you might have on hand.
This is a recipe I found on Pinterest, here is the original pin, which will take you back to that recipe. But, I'll include the recipe anyway..
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 ribs, celery, chopped
2 carrots, sliced or chopped
2 cups mixed vegetables (today for extra vegetables, I used sweet potato, parsnip, frozen corn and frozen peas.) I've used turnip as well.
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
1 bay leaf
8 cups water and 3 cubes of vegetable bouillon OR 8 cups of vegetable broth (I use the broth)
1 - 14 oz. can tomatoes, I only had the larger can on hand today but I just measured out the right amount.
Today I added 1/2 cup of pot barley which didn't make it into the picture!!
Heat oil in large soup or stock pot. Add onions, carrots and celery. Heat, stirring, for 3-4 minutes, until onions are soft. Add the rest of the vegetables and heat for just another minute or two. I always cook them longer than stated.
Add salt, thyme and oregano, stirring to coat the vegetables well.
Add bay leaf, water or vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. If using bouillon cubes, add and stir to make sure they dissolve.
Add tomatoes, stir and allow soup to simmer until all the vegetables are cooked. Adjust seasonings to taste. Remove the bay leaf.
Two bowls were served at lunch, I froze two more meals and there was one single bowl left - much better for you and much more economical that buying numerous cans of soup!!! Try it!!! It's delicious!!
Last week I tagged along with my husband when he had to go away for business, I like when that happens, especially when it's in an area where there are numerous thrift shops and a few antique malls within a nice distance - oh, GPS, you're a great invention!!!
How many times have you seen something on a blog or on Instagram and immediately think you need that item? I've been seeing vintage Valentine candy boxes, it made me remember Dad buying those for Mom, I have never seen them in a shop, so I never imagined I would ever have one! Jackpot - I found a booth that had five boxes - two were red, the others were non Valentine colors, I knew I was taking one, but I came to my senses and took the other red one too.
Both of the boxes are a nice size, about 10 inches in length. The top one has writing on the back - From Warren, 1940. The bottom one is very fancy and still has the Moirs, Halifax, Canada, tag on it. You don't see elaborate things like this anymore. The paper liner is still inside the box. I really don't have anything in the line of vintage Valentines, now I do!!
I've been on an Ideals kick lately, my good friend, Sharon, told me they were great for SMASHing, I never gave them a second glance before, but she was right, they're great - I found a few for Christmas, I used some for pages, some of the pictures are beautiful and some of the verses are ok to use too! Jackpot, again - four Valentine Ideals books!
I can't remember the last time I bought a postcard but these were cheap and cute!
I very seldom ever look at the children's book section anymore, I have quite a few Eloise Wilkin books and any I do see are the usual ones you see all the time. I was just walking past the books and this one was sitting to the side - I grabbed it - it was 50 cents. It's a beautiful book, it was given to Katie from Birgitta, 1st Christmas, 1989 - you should have kept this book, Katie.
I have never seen an Eloise Wilkin illustration that wasn't beautiful!
No trip would be successful without finding a Vera or two - I'm really liking that animal print one - it's different, has the tag attached and was only 75 cents!!!
Cold winter days are the perfect days to make a pot of soup - I made Grandma's Corn Chowder the other day, it was really delicious! Right off the top, I have to say this is not my Grandmother's recipe or anybody's recipe that I know, it's from All Recipes, I don't care who it belongs to, it's a good one! Another thing, I never plan a food post so if I have a picture and it's something worth sharing, I'll write about it, therefore, the picture may not be the very best!!
Grandma's Corn Chowder
1/2 c. diced bacon
4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped. ( I used three nice sized red potatoes and left the peeling on, for some color)
1 medium onion
2 cups water ( I used chicken broth)
3 cups cream style corn ( I used one can of cream corn and two cups of frozen corn)
2 teaspoons salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups half and half
Place the bacon in a large pot over medium high heat and cook until crisp. Drain and crumble, reserving about 2 tablespoons drippings in the pot. Bacon would not have to be used at all, or you could just crumble some on the top, for whoever desires it!
Mix potatoes and onion into the pot with the crumbled bacon and reserved drippings. Cook and stir 5 minutes. Pour in the water or broth and stir in corn. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover pot. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until potatoes are tender.
Warm the half and half in a small saucepan until it bubbles. Remove from heat before it boils, and mix into the chowder just before serving!
I froze the leftovers, after each having a nice size bowl, there are two more soup meals in the freezer for us. I have been trying to make soup ahead and not buy canned soup any more, right now I have three kinds in the freezer. It's so much better!!